House GOP leaders lose another one

HOUSE GOP LEADERS LOSE ANOTHER ONE…. Let’s just say the week isn’t going as planned for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

He brought the Patriot Act to the floor yesterday, expecting easy passage. He lost. Boehner brought a trade bill to the floor, but had to pull it after rank-and-file Republicans balked.

This afternoon, the House GOP leadership “endured another embarrassing floor loss,” this time on U.N. funding.

A bill that would retrieve money already paid to the United Nations failed Wednesday afternoon 259-169, 290 votes were needed for passage. The bill is the third to fail under House stewardship this week. The U.N. bill would have return $179 million that was paid into the U.N. tax equalization fund.

The measure was brought up under House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) signature budget slashing initiative, known as YouCut, under suspension of House rules that required two-thirds vote for passage.

Several GOP sources said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) had lobbied against the U.N. bill, at the urging of New York city officials. King had spoken to New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly about the funding.

King spoke on the House floor Wednesday, saying defeating the bill is “a matter of life and death.”

This didn’t persuade many in the GOP caucus, but the argument nevertheless carried the day. As with the vote on the Patriot Act, a House majority supported the GOP proposal, but to expedite matters, the measure was placed on the suspension calendar, so it needed a two-thirds majority, and came up far short.

This morning, Boehner told reporters, “We’ve been in the majority four weeks. We’re not going to be perfect every day.”

A month into the new Congress, it appears Republican leaders are still struggling a bit in the “leadership” department.